If you’ve been around the blog here for any amount of time, you’ll know that I do a lot of commenting. I’ve also recently written about how to find a lot of blogs to comment on and also about how to get 100 comments on a post.
I’ve mentioned that if I’ve got my mind set on it, I can read and comment on 20 blogs in an hour. A lot of readers either expressed their incredulity at this number or implied that the comments I was leaving were sub-par.
To address these concerns, this post explains how to leave quality comments quickly.
For the sake of argument here, let’s just assume that you believe commenting to be a valuable thing to do for traffic, backlink, and networking purposes. Whether or not it is could be a whole new series of posts, but let’s assume we’re all on the same page here. Let’s assume that you WANT to comment, but don’t do it as often or quickly as you’d like.
[Also, this is a very text-heavy blog post, so be prepared.]
ALL comments are appreciated
First let’s set a few things straight. I’ve gotten a few comments on my recent posts that said something to the effect of, “If I can’t add value to a post, I won’t comment.” I think this is the wrong mindset to be in.
When’s the last time YOU cared about whether every comment you got added some valuable information to your blog post? The odds are really good that you just want comments! They don’t have to be profound or anything, you just want more of them.
Now I’m not talking about “Great post!” comments or spam comments. Everyone hates those. But I think it’s safe to say that as long as it’s a real comment from a real person, you don’t care too much about whether a comment is earth-shattering. Of course we all want the comments on our blogs to be as awesome as possible. But more than that, I think we just want comments!
And finally, realize that adding a valuable comment does not always mean adding something new to the discussion. Every comment is valuable because it buoys up the self esteem and confidence of the blogger. A comment is quantifiable encouragement.
You ALWAYS have something to say
I’ve heard some people say that they have nothing to say after reading a post, so they don’t bother commenting. It’s not that they don’t have anything of value to say (as we just talked about), it’s that they don’t have anything to say, valuable or not.
That is 100% total crap.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a blog post that I could never add a comment to. And if that’s the case for me (I have no special commenting superpowers or anything), it can be the case for you.
If you’re stumped, try this
Now, hopefully you read a post and you’ve got something to say about it. That makes commenting easy, right? You just say what’s on your mind.
But if you can’t think of anything to write in your comment, ask yourself (and write your answers to) one or more of the following questions:
- Did you like the post? Why or why not?
- Did you agree with the stance taken? How does your opinion differ from the one stated?
- Have you had personal experiences that prove or refute what the author said?
- Is there something the author left out that you can add?
I don’t believe there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t be able to write something after asking himself or herself the above questions.
Is that still too much?
At the very least, a post should contain the elements of the patented 4-step super fast comment model:
- Say whether you liked the post or not (and use the person’s name!).
- Say what you liked or didn’t like (see the next section for more on this).
- Say why you liked or didn’t like it.
- Thank the blogger and wish him/her well.
Anyone can do that, even if the post is horrendous.
Here’s an example, with the 4 different points marked:
(1) I really enjoyed this post, Ron!
(2) I like what you said about limiting yourself to no more than 15 minutes of Twitter every day. (3) Just like you said, there’s a point where too much networking can start to eat into the time you can spend creating quality content. What good are 10,000 Twitter followers if your blog sucks? They might come to your blog once but they’ll never go back.
(4) Thanks for the great post, and I hope you have an awesome weekend!
Now that’s not an extraordinary comment. It’s not going to change anyone’s life (how many do?). But I would be perfectly happy with that kind of comment on my blog. It’s an average good comment. It’s honest, it’s encouraging, and it’s thoughtful.
It also took me about 30 seconds to write, and that’s with coming up with a hypothetical blog post that I haven’t read.
Ideally, you’ll leave a comment that has more substance to it than that, but remember that this is the last resort that we’re talking about here. This is if you can’t think of anything to say and if the questions in the above section don’t do it for you.
I use the 4-step comment model for almost every single comment I write. I just add other things to it, too, as needed. Once you get used to writing comments like this, it takes you barely any time to write them because you know exactly what kinds of things to write about. You essentially only have to fill in the blanks and add some more meat to the bone.
My commenting secret weapon
I have a trick up my sleeve when it comes to commenting. I always have a Notepad (.txt) document open as I read other blogs. Whenever I come across a particularly interesting phrase (whether it’s something I like or something I believe is wrong), I copy it and paste it into the .txt document so that I don’t forget about it. I also type in really quick any other thoughts that come to me.
When I finish a post and am ready to comment, I copy everything from the .txt document and paste it into the comment form. Bam. There’s an instant comment that’s mostly ready to go, and it barely took me any more time than just reading the post. Slap some quotes around the parts of the post that you want to comment on, expound on your jotted down ideas with another couple sentences, and submit that sucker.
This is a great method because I tend to forget what I wanted to comment on by the end of a long post. By partially recording your thoughts as they come to you, you don’t have to waste any time trying to remember what it was you wanted to write about.
I hope this helped someone out there. And I hope you realize that I’m not advocating not reading a blog post or spamming blogs with comments. And I’m not saying that you should make all of your comments the same. I’m saying that if there are times when you want to comment on a LOT of blogs, these techniques will save you time and save your brain from malfunctioning.
And even if you don’t do anything that I’ve mentioned in this post, just get out and comment more! The more you comment (regardless of how you go about doing it), the better and faster at it you’ll be.
So go try this out! After you leave a comment on this post, go read one of my posts you haven’t read before and see how long it takes you to leave a comment using the above methods. Or go out on your own commenting spree. Find out what works well for you and keep at it.
- Are you a fast commenter or slow commenter? Or does it depend?
- Have you found that your comments seem to follow a sort of outline or pattern? Share it!
- When you’re in a hurry, how long does it take you to read a post and leave a comment?
I’ve recently started MakeMoneyBlogging.net. You should check it out and contribute if you feel so inclined. And in addition to the Mentions page here on Blogging Bookshelf, I’ve added a “4 Most Recent Mentions!” widget in the sidebar :) Also, I updated the Blog Directory with 20-ish more blogs.